ABB delivers longest underwater power link

Project supports creation of common European power market

Zurich, Switzerland. Sept.12, 2008 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, helped TenneT and Statnett, the Dutch and Norwegian transmission system operators, officially open a 580-kilometer power link between the two countries.

The project brings the goal of a common power network and a reliable, efficient electricity supply for Europe a step closer to reality. TenneT and Statnett jointly own the transmission link for which ABB supplied the key technologies.

NorNed is the longest submarine cable link in the world and the most powerful, with a transmission capacity of 700 megawatts. It was inaugurated in the presence of executives from the two utilities that own the link and ABB, as well as the Norwegian minister of petroleum and energy, Terje Riis-Johansen, and the Dutch economics minister, Maria van der Hoeven,

"NorNed is a landmark feat of engineering that brings Europe even closer to the goal of creating a reliable, continent-wide electrical network with low environmental impact,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “It is a significant contribution to the quality and reliability of Europe's power supply."

NorNed is the first direct power link between Norway and the Netherlands, and is part of the European Union's plan to improve cross-border power infrastructure, reduce blackouts and help create more efficient power markets within Europe.

The ABB-built link using high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology allows the utilities TenneT in the Netherlands and Statnett in Norway to trade power and increase the reliability of electrical supply in each country. The Dutch grid can use Norwegian hydropower to manage peak power loads during the day and, by offering an alternative to fossil fuel-based generation, grid operators expect to reduce CO2 emissions by about 1.7 million tons per year.

ABB pioneered HVDC technology 50 years ago and has supplied more than half the world’s HVDC converter stations.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 115,000 people.

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